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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  September 20, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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>> pelley: tonight, a dead heat race looking for a breakout moment. the road to the white house ran through florida today. jan crawford reports the romney campaign is shifting strategy. nancy cordes is with the president, facing tough questions. a top libyan official tells liz palmer that government may be too weak to arrest the men behind the killing of the u.s. ambassador. chip reid on how the melting of the polar ice cap could affect our weather. >> we're seeing losses of ice i never thought i would see if my career. >> pelley: and, can the world's dying coral be rescued? elaine quijano dives into a bold experiment that just might save the reefs. >> i get real excited. i can't wait to see what it look likes in five more years. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley reporting
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tonight from sarasota, florida. >> pelley: good evening. well, today you might have thought they were running for governor. president obama and mitt romney worked florida as if it was the state that would decide the election. and, of course, it is the biggest of the few states that could go either way. we were struck by the national gallup poll today-- all tied up, 47 to 47. other recent polls have shown the president ahead but only slightly. that's the case here in florida where one of the latest polls shows mr. obama ahead 49% to 44%, but it's a slight lead because the poll has a margin of error of three percentage points. we were in sarasota today for an interview with mitt romney, which will appear in a special "60 minutes" report featuring conversations with both candidates. that'll be coming up this sunday. after a few missteps lately,
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romney has been facing doubts among some republicans, but today he told us that his campaign is on track. we have our campaign 2012 team with the candidates as always, and we'll start tonight with jan crawford. jan? >> reporter: well, scott, governor romney's advisers concede it's been a bad two weeks for him if for no other reason that he got off his message of jobs, so they're changing their tactics a bit. they're going to make romney more visible on the campaign trail, more focused in his message, and more focused and forceful if drawing sharp contrast with the president. and we saw it today here in sarasota. >> i can change washington! i will change washington! we'll get the job done from the inside. republicans and democrats will come together. he can't do it. his slogan was "yes, we can." his slogan now is "no, i can't." this is time for a new president. ( cheers and applause ) >> reporter: since accepting the republican nomination last month, romney has struggled to
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make headway with voters. that's triggered criticism from his own party. recently, romney's made few campaign appearances, focusing on debate preparation and fund raisers. and he's been off his economic message for two weeks, first criticizing the president after the embassy attacks in egypt and libya... >> the first response of united states must be outrage. >> reporter: ...then getting sidetracked by the fallout from the leaked video from a fund- raiser in which he said 47% of americans who pay no federal income tax were victims and dependent on government. at the same time, the president has seen his poll numbers rise. romney is lag, behind in battles ground states such as virginia, florida, ohio, and wisconsin. mr. obama seems to be solidifying his support in states some thought could tilt for romney. in pennsylvania, a new "philadelphia inquirer" poll has the president up by 11, 50% to 39%. to beef up operations, it must win states like colorado and nevada, the campaign pulled staff from new mexico air, state
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romney had once hoped to capture. in a shift in strategy, campaign sources say romney will step up his campaigning to engage more with voters. he'll offer more specifics on his economic plans and how they would affect average americans. he also will appear more often in his own television ads. >> we've got to stop spending more money than we take in. >> reporter: now, next week, romney will hit the campaign trail in the midwest. he'll be on a bus tour in ohio. his running mate paul ryan will also be in ohio. the campaign suggested they will be campaigning together, and now they're saying they may just cross paths. there's no question advisers think he's a better candidate when he's campaigning with paul ryan, that the two have a very good rapport together on the campaign trail. >> pelley: thanks, jan. president obama was in miami for a town hall meeting on the spanish language network univision. the latest gallup poll shows the president leads among hispanics nationwide by a whopping 64% to 27%, but today he faced some really tough questions.
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nancy cordes is traveling with the president. nancy? >> reporter: scott, back in 2008, the president told univision he would introduce comprehensive immigration reform his first year in office. well, it never happened, and so today he was asked repeatedly why he broke that promise. he blamed republicans. >> what i confess i did not expect-- and so i'm happy to take responsibility for being naive here-- is that republicans who had previously supported comprehensive immigration reform suddenly would walk away. >> a promise is a promise, and, with all due respect, you didn't keep that promise. >> well, here's what i would say, jorge, is that-- and we've had this conversation before. there's the thinking that the president is somebody who is all-powerful and can get everything done. we have to have cooperation from all the sources in order to get something done.
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>> reporter: the president insisted he is still committed to immigration reform, and he highlighted his recent executive order allowing up to 800,000 young people who were brought here illegally to remain in the country. >> and that stands in contrast with the other candidate, who has said he would veto the dream act, that he is uncertain about what his plan for immigration reform would be. >> reporter: the obama campaign has been courting hispanics far more aggressively than the romney camp, with spanish language ads in five battleground states that have large hispanic populations. such as florida. >> ( speaking spanish ) >> reporter: today, president obama was also asked about mr. romney's controversial comments regarding the 47% of americans who don't pay income taxes. >> are there people who abuse the system? yes. both at the bottom and at the top, because there are a whole bunch of millionaires who aren't paying taxes at all, either. ( applause )
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>> reporter: one thing the president said today at that forum is getting a lot of attention. he said he had learned that you can't change washington from the inside. now, he may not have meant it exactly the way it came out, scott, but governor romney sure noticed it and is already saying he would change washington from the inside. >> pelley: nancy, thank you. president obama was also out with a tv ad today in islamabad, pakistan. in the ad, mr. obama and secretary of state clinton denounced that american-made anti-islamic film that has touched off riots throughout the middle east and the muslim world. the u.s. will spend $70,000 on these ads. >> since our founding, the united states has been a nation that respects all faiths. we reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. >> pelley: the embassy ad is running on seven pakistani tv channels. and here is why that ad campaign seems like a good buy: in
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islamabad today, more than 1,000 students, armed with sticks and stones, tried to reach the u.s. embassy. they were stopped by riot police and army troops, who used tear gas to break up the crowd. the first reports from libya last week said it was a similar protest that ended in the murders of the u.s. ambassador and three other americans there. but today, for the first time, the white house called the assault on the u.s. consulate in benghazi a terrorist attack. elizabeth palmer has been investigating in benghazi. >> reporter: at a solemn memorial service, libya's president paid his respects to ambassador christopher stevens. u.s. deputy secretary of state william bornes had earlier flown into the capital under tight security. behind the scenes, an f.b.i. team is preparing to fly to benghazi to investigate the attack.
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the compound behind these walls is the major crime scene, but any evidence left inside will have been badly contaminated by the looters and the curious local people who flooded in after the attack. here's what eyewitnesses, officials and libyan commanders in charge that night have told us. sometime around 9:30 p.m., about 70 armed men attacked the consulate's main gates with guns and heavy weapons. they then stormed in, overwhelming local and american security. with all four buildings on fire, the libyan government ordered a local militia to the rescue. that militia helped to ferry 31 americans and the body of sean smith out the back gate in armored cars to a house a mile away rented by the u.s. government. shortly afterwards, it, too, came under fierce attack. what we still don't know is how, back at the compound, ambassador stevens got separated from his
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security detail only to be found dead or dying just after midnight by the crowd. suspicion for the attack is focused on a powerful islamist militia, ansar al-sharia-- so powerful that our questions at the interior ministry made the spokesman very nervous. are you going to catch the guys who did this, or are they too strong for you? "no," he admitted. "we don't have enough power to catch them." maybe not, but as far as the u.s. government is concerned, doing nothing is not an option. >> pelley: elizabeth palmer joins us in benghazi. liz, you mentioned the f.b.i. investigation. when is that going to get under way? >> reporter: we spoke to the benghazi attorney general this morning, and he knows the libyans have neither the expertise nor the technology to do any kind of proper forensic investigation. basically, the libyans are
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now waiting for the f.b.i. to arrive here and lead the way, he hopes, within two or three days. >> pelley: liz, thank you. tyrone woods was laid to rest in san diego today. he was one of the american guards who died defending the embassy personnel in the benghazi attack. woods was a former navy seal who was working for a private security firm. he was 41 years old and leaves a wife and three sons. in colorado, today, prosecutors in the case against james holmes abandoned their efforts to get a hold of a notebook that holmes mailed to his psychiatrist. holmes is the suspect in that movie theater massacre in july. barry peterson reports that holmes appeared today with a whole new look. >> reporter: this is how james holmes looked in his previous court appearances-- disheveled long hair dyed orange, and inattentive to the point of almost seeming to fall asleep as
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if he was dazed or on medication. but today, a whole different look and demeanor. his dark brown hair close cropped, a beard and mustache neatly trimmed. and he was alert, following the proceedings, at times even looking into the audience as attorneys argued over access to the notebook he allegedly mailed to the university of colorado. a swat team was called in when it was discovered in the school mail room four days after the shooting. it was addressed to university psychiatrist dr. lynne fenton, who had treated holmes while he was a student there. sources say the notebook contains sketches and notes allegedly made by holmes of the attack, eerily similar to the attack at the aurora theater that killed 12 and wounded 58. the prosecution decision to withdraw demands to see the notebook was a surprise. they explained that a legal battle over the book could have delayed a trial for up to a year, and they expected to see it at a later date if defense
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lawyers claim holmes was insane. i was in the courtroom for holmes' first appearance just after that shooting, and the difference between what he looked like then and today was nothing short of stunning. i had to look twice to make sure i was seeing the same man. but because of the gag order, we have no idea what brought about this dramatic change. >> pelley: barry, thank you. the check is in the mail for some of bernie madoff's victims; measuring the speed of the economic recovery; and how the melting of the arctic ice cap is likely to affect your weather-- when the "cbs evening news" continues from sarasota, florida. careful, pringles are bursting with more flavor.
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david robinson, a climatologist with rutgers university, says the record for melting arctic sea ice was shattered in 2007. >> we thought that might be the record for quite a while, and here we are just five years later and we've shattered that record. we're seeing losses of sea ice i never thought i'd see in my career. >> reporter: robinson says the arctic could be ice-free well before the previous estimate of the year 2050. that's bad news for polar bears who live on sea ice, but it could also mean extreme weather for much of the northern hemisphere. >> we might change the pattern of the jet stream, might make it flow further to the north and dip further to the south, be a more windy, twisty jet stream. >> reporter: that could generate more storms and even greater extremes in temperature. through the first eight months of 2012, 33 states set all-time records for average highs. government scientists said today that trend is likely to continue
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at least through december, making this the warmest year on record, especially in the midwest and northeast. there's one possible piece of good news in all this, scott. scientists say that if that jet stream does become more "windy, twisty," that could mean more rain for the south and for the great plains-- rain that's desperately needed after years of droughts. >> pelley: well, it looks like a nice day there in washington and here in florida, too. at least for now. chip, thanks very much. we saw new evidence today of how the great recession has changed america. the census bureau reports that median household income fell last year for the fourth straight year. it's now just over $50,000. half of households make more, half less. there is some improvement, though. in 2010, median household incomes decreased in 35 states, but last year incomes fell in 18 states. in one state, vermont, income
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madoff's investors lost $17 billion in the ponzi scheme. he's recovered about half of that. "endeavour" is nearing the end of its final mission. the shuttle headed west today from houston, strapped on the back of a 747. it flew over tucson, arizona, the home of former congresswoman gabby gifford. her husband, mark kelly, was "endeavour's" last commander. it landed at edwards air force base in california, and tomorrow it flies to los angeles and its retirement in a museum. also tomorrow, president obama will designate colorado's chimney rock archaeological area a national monument. pueblo indians once used the soaring rock formation to see lunar standstills, a phenomenon in which the moon rises between the twin rock towers. it only happens once every 18 years. the secret to saving florida's
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that climate change could damage 70 percent of the world's coral. by the year 2013. it is a problem in florida. so we sent to elaine to meet a man that has pieced together a way to save the coral reef. >> this marine biologist talks about a proud parent when he talks about the tiny organisms living on limestone that he is growing off the coast of florida. >> i get really excited and i think it is great. i cannot wait to see what it looks like in five years. >> over the last decade he and a small team have developed new techniques to grow and replace coral, damaged by environmental changes. we go 30 ft. below the surface with him to see how he does it. >> is it doing better than you thought it would when you for started the project? >> theres a lot of coral there
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over the last two years. >> when you look at this, what do you see? >> i see hope. >> because of disease and pollution and warming ocean temperatures, the coral in florida have decreased from 50% years ago to 7 percent today. >> what happens if they die off? >> the tourism collapses, you know, the whole economy of the florida keys changes, the whole ecosystem degrades. >> his solution is to remove pieces from healthy quarrel, >> we cut the and off and plant them. >> then, using a waterproof adhesive, he mounts them onto concrete slabs. where they grow until they're ready for transplant. >> we are starting to transplant coral to the wreath with is exciting because there's no other quarrel like it in the world. >> it he forms huge massive
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barrier reefs, they like wave smashing on them, if you do not have them taking the brunt of those waves then your beachfront house will take the brunt of those waves. >> he received permission from the government to plant 50,000 pieces of coral on protected reefs in the florida keys but he needs money to do that. the core restoration foundation relies mostly on private donations, he only has enough money to keep operations running through january. >> we're not ready to quit, we have a lot to do and are confident that we will find some way to make that happen. >> he plans to go global. restoring not only florida's loss coral but saving coral around the world. a small piece at a time. >> and that is the cbs news from sarasota florida. with thanks to the botanical gardens for this wonderful view,
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for all of us at cbs news, all- around world, good night. >> good evening i am alan martin >> i am dana king, is it is expected to be a sight that the bay area will never forget. for the first time ever the space shuttle in denver will be seen in northern california on top of a modified boeing 747. late this afternoon that their plan has been delayed an hour to allow time for the fog to clear. here is the overview, it will do a flyby over the sacramento area tomorrow morning and then it is our turn. closer to 9:30 a.m. it will pass over concord and warm up creek, the space and science center, the prime viewing areas in the east bay. a few loose around the bay, passing low by the golden gate bridge and then down the peninsula to nasa ames and finally over san jose and the monterey bay aquarium. earlier today it landed at edwards air force base, not far


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